9's at GCSE English - AMA + Advice Watch

durararara
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(Original post by CinnamonSmol)
Hi, I received two 9's at GCSE for both English Lit and Lang (Englishes? English's? whatever) I've been around TSR recently giving advice for what I did and I surprisingly received a lot more questions than I expected.

As a result, I'll be adding my tips and tricks that helped me through GCSE English and will be happy to answer any questions

Inspector Calls:
Spoiler:
Show



I did this for Inspector Calls however you can probably adapt it into a different text:
-Begin your revision by starting with your character notes, I did mine in a table, divided into 3 (well, 4) sections.

1. Person's Character: Choose 5 main quotes that are memorable, from or about the character (6-8 words max)
Follow PEEL. Write down the point you want to make about the Character, include the quote and write down what it shows you/what the quote implies. Finally, write a simple sentence, summarising what it tells you about their character.

2. What they did to Eva/Attitude to her death: again, 5 quotes that explain what the character did to Eva. This helps you be selective with explaining their role in Eva's death, as you don't want to be too descriptive. It also helps you back up your previous points about their character) Do the PEEL again.

3. Character development: What do they say/do end of play? Have they changed? How do you know and what does this show? - 5 quotes and PEEL

4. Select quotes you've already chosen from your previous 3 columns that fit into a theme, eg. Gender Roles, Power, Money, etc.
You can repeat your points if applicable but the point is to make it easier for when you do your theme notes. It can vary from 3-4.

The point of this is to essentially break down the writing of an essay and have around 15 easy quotes to remember for your character from the start, middle and end so even if you have an extract question (Depends on your board), you're sorted, no matter where it is in the play. I made sure that my notes + quotes were in chronological order just so it's easier to remember when trying to recall what you wrote in the plan, whilst writing the essay.

For your theme essays, simply write out an introduction (try and integrate a few cheeky quotes here and there -you dont have to) and then go character by character the different theme quote/points you have already written down.





(still more to come)
I need your advice please. I did lit paper 1 and I nearly got a 7 but during the exam I was ill and in intense back pain so I took 15 minutes off which I could have used to write another paragraph but I was too ill. I wrote about 4 quotes for each section (romeo & juliet and a christmas carol). I have a similar system to you and I did include context and themes so where did I go wrong. I even linked. Do i need more quotes or?
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diamondionysx
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(Original post by CinnamonSmol)
this is the one question I was hoping someone would ask Go on writing prompt websites and also read funny tumblr posts to give you ideas

for me, my story was about a man who was sexually attracted to a vase only to find a crack in it who then went through the 5 stages of grief. I found inspo from tumblr and honestly, just write something original or obscure, itll be fun to write but also for the examiner to read
aha thank you also, do you think it’s necessary to make mind maps of each character and theme of a text, for example an inspector calls, or are there any other quicker methods? Because I feel like the process of making mindmaps for every character and theme from every novel/play i’m studying and finding quotes as well as analysis points for each and every one will take up a lot of time and there isn’t enough time
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soundgirl
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(Original post by CinnamonSmol)
I'll be posting them tomorrow
that would be really helpful, thanks in advance
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soundgirl
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(Original post by Jman10101)
Thats amazing!Please send me some of your notes as English is my worst subject since I'm predicted an 8.
whattttt an 8 is your worst grade?!!!
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CinnamonSmol
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(Original post by Toastiekid)
Oooh yeah 1984 is great! I actually read both of them over the summer and yeah the hand maids tale had me very confused I might read it again though
For a-levels I’m thinking of doing maths, fm, physics though my English teacher does keep trying to get me to do English
GCSEs are going okay, I had my English lit mock today which was pretty...lit
After every book I read I usually wikipedia the story plot to make sure I understood it -some of the book is so deep I felt shook that I didnt notice all the subtle references. Do you know any books? We're starting coursework soon and I need to start reading a lot more than I have been recently (only read 1 book in like 2 months which is absolutely awful oops i know)

Daaaaamn that is pretty intense, why Maths + FM?

ayee
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CinnamonSmol
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(Original post by durararara)
I need your advice please. I did lit paper 1 and I nearly got a 7 but during the exam I was ill and in intense back pain so I took 15 minutes off which I could have used to write another paragraph but I was too ill. I wrote about 4 quotes for each section (romeo & juliet and a christmas carol). I have a similar system to you and I did include context and themes so where did I go wrong. I even linked. Do i need more quotes or?
Okay so first of all well done on getting a good grade (6/7's are really great at this point in time so dw) secondly, if I remember correctly, context is only needed for poetry and Christmas Carol (it might differ depending on exam board though so dont quote me) so you may need to check with your teacher/exam board whether you actually need to include it

I can't really say "thats too little quotes" or "thats too many", it depends what you do with those quotes. It does sound like a good number, however do you make only one interpreation from it? For every quote you do, it's better to give developed and linked answers but also try to make two or more points in order to gain extra marks as it shows you're really digging deep

Check what your teacher said to you and really make a conscious effort to improve yourself, sometimes you may think youre doing something when actually you arent.

Just constantly remember PEEL and what the question wants to know With GCSE's its really about showing off your knowledge tbh
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username2337287
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Join the club, I got 3 9s, 7 A*s and a 98% Scholarship to Harrow School (A nice reward)!
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CinnamonSmol
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(Original post by diamondionysx)
aha thank you also, do you think it’s necessary to make mind maps of each character and theme of a text, for example an inspector calls, or are there any other quicker methods? Because I feel like the process of making mindmaps for every character and theme from every novel/play i’m studying and finding quotes as well as analysis points for each and every one will take up a lot of time and there isn’t enough time
I'll be posting my notes tomorrow so you can see what I did, but I definitely think its important to at least do notes for the main characters, if you follow the advice in my original post for Inspector Calls and say do an extra section of main quotes you've already used and highlight them as key theme quotes that may help but near the end for my other texts (I remember ending up finishing my essay plans like 2 days before my exam -THE STRESS!!) I ended up typing them up and just doing pure summaries and whatnot, its better to write stuff out ifi you have issues remembering stuff/want it to be as easy as possible, but if you really need to then just type it out


In all honesty you have way more than enough time to do your notes now, I know it looks like a lot but what I did was create a checklist of all essay plans and possible questions (okay not ALL just the main ones) and once you start chipping away slowly at them you'll feel much better. When you physically write it down you'll realise your mind just has a way of dramaticising everything
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CinnamonSmol
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(Original post by soundgirl)
whattttt an 8 is your worst grade?!!!
(ngl i laughed, typical tsr)
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CinnamonSmol
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(Original post by Science99999)
Join the club, I got 3 9s, 7 A*s and a 98% Scholarship to Harrow School (A nice reward)!
well done thats amazing
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durararara
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(Original post by CinnamonSmol)
Okay so first of all well done on getting a good grade (6/7's are really great at this point in time so dw) secondly, if I remember correctly, context is only needed for poetry and Christmas Carol (it might differ depending on exam board though so dont quote me) so you may need to check with your teacher/exam board whether you actually need to include it

I can't really say "thats too little quotes" or "thats too many", it depends what you do with those quotes. It does sound like a good number, however do you make only one interpreation from it? For every quote you do, it's better to give developed and linked answers but also try to make two or more points in order to gain extra marks as it shows you're really digging deep

Check what your teacher said to you and really make a conscious effort to improve yourself, sometimes you may think youre doing something when actually you arent.

Just constantly remember PEEL and what the question wants to know With GCSE's its really about showing off your knowledge tbh
thanks! I'll try to link my quotes better with an explanation and give alternative interpretations and implications of the quotes I pick thanks!
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Toastiekid
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(Original post by CinnamonSmol)
After every book I read I usually wikipedia the story plot to make sure I understood it -some of the book is so deep I felt shook that I didnt notice all the subtle references. Do you know any books? We're starting coursework soon and I need to start reading a lot more than I have been recently (only read 1 book in like 2 months which is absolutely awful oops i know)

Daaaaamn that is pretty intense, why Maths + FM?

ayee
ooh that’s a good idea, I might start doing that!
Yes, I know many books
Some good ones are the runner by Christopher reich, girl on the train and slum dog millionaire. I also just finished a book called the girl with all the gifts which was really good! (I like reading...GCSEs always get in the way uGh)
I kinda thought about the subjects I like and was like woah I like maths...I’ll do maths but now the idea’s in my head, I’m definitely doing it now It'll be hard but I think I can do it
Just curious, how did you structure revision (generally) for GCSEs? Like was it in short chunks or huge blocks etc?
Thanksss
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Nabundle
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(Original post by CinnamonSmol)
well done thats amazing
Well done on your 9s, I am only on 7s but I would really like 2 9s as well but that just seems to be impossible at the moment. Thank you for the advice you gave on Inspector calls, I will try your method soon. What texts did you do apart from 'An Inspector Calls'?
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IDOZ
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(Original post by CinnamonSmol)
Hi, I received two 9's at GCSE for both English Lit and Lang (Englishes? English's? whatever) I've been around TSR recently giving advice for what I did and I surprisingly received a lot more questions than I expected.

As a result, I'll be adding my tips and tricks that helped me through GCSE English and will be happy to answer any questions

Inspector Calls:
Spoiler:
Show



I did this for Inspector Calls however you can probably adapt it into a different text:
-Begin your revision by starting with your character notes, I did mine in a table, divided into 3 (well, 4) sections.

1. Person's Character: Choose 5 main quotes that are memorable, from or about the character (6-8 words max)
Follow PEEL. Write down the point you want to make about the Character, include the quote and write down what it shows you/what the quote implies. Finally, write a simple sentence, summarising what it tells you about their character.

2. What they did to Eva/Attitude to her death: again, 5 quotes that explain what the character did to Eva. This helps you be selective with explaining their role in Eva's death, as you don't want to be too descriptive. It also helps you back up your previous points about their character) Do the PEEL again.

3. Character development: What do they say/do end of play? Have they changed? How do you know and what does this show? - 5 quotes and PEEL

4. Select quotes you've already chosen from your previous 3 columns that fit into a theme, eg. Gender Roles, Power, Money, etc.
You can repeat your points if applicable but the point is to make it easier for when you do your theme notes. It can vary from 3-4.

The point of this is to essentially break down the writing of an essay and have around 15 easy quotes to remember for your character from the start, middle and end so even if you have an extract question (Depends on your board), you're sorted, no matter where it is in the play. I made sure that my notes + quotes were in chronological order just so it's easier to remember when trying to recall what you wrote in the plan, whilst writing the essay.

For your theme essays, simply write out an introduction (try and integrate a few cheeky quotes here and there -you dont have to) and then go character by character the different theme quote/points you have already written down.





(still more to come)
Which exam board did you do?
Wat were the books/plays and poems in your lit?
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CinnamonSmol
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(Original post by durararara)
thanks! I'll try to link my quotes better with an explanation and give alternative interpretations and implications of the quotes I pick thanks!
No problem
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CinnamonSmol
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(Original post by Ihatelife2)
Well done on your 9s, I am only on 7s but I would really like 2 9s as well but that just seems to be impossible at the moment. Thank you for the advice you gave on Inspector calls, I will try your method soon. What texts did you do apart from 'An Inspector Calls'?
That's awesome, well done! Just to let you know, I recieved consistent 7's and occasional 8's near the end of course, you're on the right track at the moment! You never know, your teachers may just be harsh markers
Macbeth and Silas Marner -if anyone asks me help about Silas Marner then soz I refuse to help I've only read the 2nd page oops
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CinnamonSmol
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(Original post by Toastiekid)
ooh that’s a good idea, I might start doing that!
Yes, I know many books
Some good ones are the runner by Christopher reich, girl on the train and slum dog millionaire. I also just finished a book called the girl with all the gifts which was really good! (I like reading...GCSEs always get in the way uGh)
I kinda thought about the subjects I like and was like woah I like maths...I’ll do maths but now the idea’s in my head, I’m definitely doing it now It'll be hard but I think I can do it
Just curious, how did you structure revision (generally) for GCSEs? Like was it in short chunks or huge blocks etc?
Thanksss
ayee thanks I'm going to hit the college library tomorrow morning so I'll definitely check them out

As long as you can motivate yourself and work hard I'm sure you'll be fine!

(Okay I know it sounds dramatic bc I literally did gcses like under a year ago and it wasnt even traumatic, but my mind has pretty much supressed most memories of GCSEs oops)
But yeah, I would usually work in big chunks of different subjects so like 5 pages of notes for one subject (2-3 days) and then move to another, it stressed me out to not be focussing at all subjects but then once I got in the zone I often didnt want to stop
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CinnamonSmol
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(Original post by IDOZ)
Which exam board did you do?
Wat were the books/plays and poems in your lit?
WJEC, Macbeth, Inspector Calls, Silas Marner and then an assortment of different poems
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CinnamonSmol
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Name:  image-d43d5839-b566-4dbc-b7c2-003da9aec278224510764-compressed.jpg.jpeg
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here's an example of my Lady Macbeth essay plan, and how I generally set out my notes. I wouldn't recommend copying my notes as it won't help you think for yourself but here's how I did it anyways
Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
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CinnamonSmol
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Name:  image-cb29504e-c25e-4006-bb58-f98904f7ca892129490042-compressed.jpg.jpeg
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Size:  68.4 KB Here's an example of my simplified Macbeth Character plan
Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
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